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A week to remember for Brian Anderton

(BJ receiving his medal from the Govenor General)

Brian Anderton, the principal of White Robe Lodge, has had a week to remember ------- investiture; selling the top priced yearling at the South Island Sale and winning the feature race at Riccarton as an owner-trainer-breeder.

"It couldn't get any better,'' said Brian.

Brian was invested as Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to the racing industry in a ceremony at Government House in Wellington on Tuesday (12/4/2016). The honour was presented by Governor- General Sir Jerry Mateparae. Brian had his wife, Lorraine; daughters, Karen Stewart, Cathryn Anderton, Lynne Lowry and Nicky Anderton and grandson, Ricky Stewart in attendance. His son and partner as a trainer, Shane was unable to be present.

Three days later Brian and Lorraine received the top price at the New Zealand Bloodstock SI sale of $52,500 for a colt by Raise The Flag from Legal Note. Raise The Flag stands at WR.

The following day Tommy Tucker, trained at WRL, won the listed $50,000 Easter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton. Brian and Lorraine bred and race the Gallant Guru - Lady Vital gelding with Ian Nichol, of Outram. Gallant Guru also stands at WRL.

Tommy Tucker was ridden by WRL apprentice Jacob Lowry to give  the 18-year-old his third major win at Riccarton this season following success  on Timy Tyler in the group three eStar $100,000 Winter Cup (1600m) and the gr 3  $50,000 Valachi Downs SI Breeders' Stakes (1600m) on Coulee. Lowry has also won the $50,000 listed Timaru Cup (1600m) on Tommy Tucker.

The SI sale in Christchurch was resounding vote of confidence in the stud operation of WRL managed by Wayne and Karen Stewart. WRL was the leading vendor and secured the top price. The 15 lots offered by the stud sold for a total of $394,000, an average of $26,266. The total was a major contributor to a record aggregate for the sale of $1,447,100 (an average of $17,435 ($10,401 last year). It was the third year the sale had been confined to yearlings, rather than 2yr-olds and switched from August to April.  The WR draft were sold to all parts of the world. Kevin Myers, the prominent Wanganui trainer purchased the Raise The Flag - Legal Note colt on behalf of Mark and Raymond Connors, of Wanganui.  The same owners have had major success with other purchases from WRL --- Our Jonty, Hypnotize, Blood Brotha and King Johny. The Riccarton trainer Michael Pitman paid $40,000 for a Gallant Guru - Lurk colt on behalf of Malaysian interests. Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock paid $36,000 for a Raise The Flag - Perceptible  colt. The Ballarat trainer Darren Weir and John Foote Bloodstock, paid $36,000 for a Gallant Guru - Emerald Fire filly, a half-sister to Inferno. They bought a Raise The Flag - Pernote colt for $32,500 for Macau. The China Horse Club Racing, of Singapore bought six lots, ranging in price from $5000 for a Gallant Guru - Elite Street filly to $32,000 for a Gallant Guru - On The Make colt.

"It was a great sale and it was good to see local trainers get two lots,'' said Karen Stewart. She was referring to the No Excuse Needed - La Gem filly bought by Wingatui trainer Terry Kennedy for $32,000 and the Raise The Flag - Final Show colt sold for $31,000 to Steven Prince, who has a stable and training facility at North Taieri, close to WRL.

The No Excuse Needed filly was bought on behalf of Ray Chalklin, of Dunedin. He raced Anzac Star (by Seasoned Star), winner of 10 races. The Raise The Flag colt was bought on behalf of Bill and Sandra Duell, of Mosgiel, who race accomplished sprinter Natuzzi. They have Passito in the Prince stable.

"I think we were rewarded for being selective and taking to the sale what we thought people would want,'' said Stewart.

She praised the new location for the sale, the RDA building at the Canterbury Agricultural Park.

"The new complex is a lot better and result should guarantee the continuation of the SI sale which had been in question."

The decision by Brian to offer his yearlings in Christchurch, rather than taking some to Karaka was also vindicated.